La Esperanza – La Guajira, Colombia March 2018

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On March 2018, Nuevalife’s fourth infrastructure and medical aid visit were completed. The group of eight volunteers brought life-changing aid to the Wayuu community in the village of La Esperanza, part of the arid department state of La Guajira, Colombia.

On this visit, over half the volunteers had never been to the area and came armed only with their desire to help, their expertise, donated supplies, and the clothes on their back.

As with all things in Nuevalife, the volunteers self-funded their trip and all donations were reinvested 100% into the community.

The purpose of this visit was to extend the newly implemented irrigation system to support reliable and sustainable agriculture, expand the potable water system, provide dental cleanings, and inaugurate the first ever bathroom constructed in the area.

Impact Assessment:

For years this community has walked hundreds of miles to water sources carrying 5-gallon tanks on their heads and back. This visit extended NuevaLife’s previously installed water system 400 meters (one-quarter of a mile) which improves drinking water access and allows more families the opportunity to start their own crops.

The irrigation system is now providing a secure local source of food that both feeds the community and reduces their dependence on government support. The extension of the system will empower more families to begin their own crops which will soon grow to be a source of income.

The community is 1.5 hours away from the nearest urban area resulting in limited medical care. Previous visits made by medical professionals have managed a variety of illnesses and injuries. This time the medical portion of the visit focused on dental hygiene. Our licensed hygienist volunteers performed free cleanings, donated hygiene supplies, and trained about the importance of proper dental care.

The bathroom is the latest infrastructure addition which reduces the risk of food and water contamination and improves the visitor experience for the Nuevalife volunteers that come from all parts of the world.

What is next?

The community has developed a 3-year plan for self-dependence. Nuevalife is working within the commitment of the community’s plan between 2018-2021 by providing training and resources that ensure independence from government aid.

The next step in this process is a Community Center.

The Community Center will serve as a training facility for the community, a staging area for future visits, and a lodge for visiting Nuevalife volunteers. This is a center that will serve La Esperanza and hundreds of other communities in the surrounding spaces.

We welcome any member of the Nuevalife Community to join us on our future development trips.

Thank you for your continued support that makes this work possible.

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